European Commission Urged To Fix EU Law Before Addressing IPR Protections In Third Countries

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Efforts to revamp protection for and enforcement of intellectual property rights in non-EU countries are welcome, but the European Commission should get Europe’s IPR house in order first, a new draft report by the European Parliament International Trade (INTA) Committee says. Meanwhile, internal IPR reform is advancing on several fronts, said the EC, which gave Intellectual Property Watch an update on the various measures.

UK To Revamp Law On “Groundless Threats” Of Infringement Suits

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Recommendations for key reforms to laws against “groundless threats” of infringement lawsuits in patent, trademark and design rights cases won general UK government backing today. IP lawyers said the government’s stance will go far toward resolving longstanding concerns.

Year Ahead: Copyright Reform, EPO Governance, Trade Secrets Among Top European IP Issues In 2015

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Review, and possibly reform, of the European Union copyright system tops the list of “hot” European intellectual property issues this year. The new European Commission has made modernising copyright rules a major priority, while fresh debate has broken out over the need for levies on digital copying devices to remunerate rights holders.

Meanwhile ongoing unrest between European Patent Office (EPO) staff and management looks likely to continue, as do efforts to finalise the unitary European patent and Unified Patent Court. EU legislation to protect trade secrets could be adopted and trademark law updated. In addition, several important IP-related decisions are expected from the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

EPO Supervisory Body To Face Fears Over Patent Quality, Judicial Independence

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As staff strikes continue and the European Patent Office’s Administrative Council prepares for what could be a contentious 11 December meeting, opinions are split over the effect of the turmoil on the office’s role in Europe’s unitary patent.

UK High Court Orders ISPs To Block Trademark-Infringing Websites

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In what may be a test case for trademark owners battling counterfeiters, the UK High Court has ordered five internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites that were advertising and selling bogus goods. The ruling could have implications beyond Britain, the court said. ISPs, meanwhile, said the best way to handle infringing websites is to remove them at source rather than blocking.

Rights Owners, Internet Companies Far Apart In Australian Copyright Consultation

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Responses to an Australian government proposal for fighting online copyright infringement show a wide gap between rights holders and internet companies on liability, and website blocking.

Libraries May Be Permitted To Digitise Books Without Copyright Owner’s Consent, EU High Court Rules

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European Union governments may allow libraries to digitise books in their collection without rights owners’ consent in order to make them available at electronic reading posts, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on 11 September. If library users want to print works out on paper or store them on a USB stick, however, rights holders must be fairly compensated.

EU High Court Parody Ruling Could Create Problems, IP Attorneys Say

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A 3 September European Court of Justice decision on the concept of “parody” is a controversial attempt to harmonise copyright law judicially where legislative efforts have failed, and raises more questions than it answers, intellectual property lawyers said. But the decision won’t affect implementation of the United Kingdom’s new copyright exception for parody, the UK Intellectual Property Office said.

UK Adopts Private Copying Exception As Some Rightholders Mull Legal Action

A new United Kingdom copyright exception for private copying cleared Parliament on 29 July and will become law in October. The change brought cheers from high-tech and digital rights groups. UK Music, however, said the new regulation will hurt creators and that it is considering legal action.

Human Eggs That Can’t Develop Into Human Beings Should Be Patentable, EU High Court Advisor Says

Unfertilised human eggs that can’t develop into human beings are generally not “human embryos” within the meaning of the EU directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, a 17 July European Court of Justice Advocate General opinion said. The opinion is good news for researchers into stem cell therapies, said a member of the industry group IP Federation, who added he hopes it will be upheld by the ECJ. But one biotech civil society member said the ruling, if it stands, could be abused.